Review: The Underwater Ballroom Society, Edited by Stephanie Burgis & Tiffany Trent
Reviews / April 16, 2018

When Stephanie Burgis contacted me to propose I read and review this collection of short stories from various authors, I was quite intrigued: I had enjoyed both her two historical fantasy novels (Masks and Shadows and Congress of Secrets) and her novella Snowspelled, with its alternate version of Regency England where magic is as common as teapots, so that I was fairly certain I would appreciate these short works centered on the shared theme of an underwater ballroom. The location itself would have been enticement enough as a narrative lynchpin, but once I learned from the preface that an underwater ballroom does indeed exist as the remnant of a once-lavish estate, my curiosity did skyrocket: I have by now learned that Ms. Burgis loves to employ true historical details as her writing’s cornerstones, and the fact that she proposed the same core theme to other writers, to do as they pleased within their stories, made for a potentially fascinating journey.  And that’s what this collection was, indeed. Each story is wildly different, ranging from steampunk fantasy to what I labelled as “fairy stories for grown-ups”, but each of them features the famous underwater ballroom in one way or another, and…

Review: Congress of Secrets by Stephanie Burgis
Reviews / November 23, 2016

Having fairly recently read and enjoyed Masks and Shadows by Stephanie Burgis I had no hesitation at all in putting in a request for Congress of Secrets.  This book definitely does not disappoint and in fact I personally enjoyed it even more than Masks and Shadows.  Using real historical events and people Burgis once again brings to us a story that weaves together magic and mystery in a most compelling way. The year is 1814, Napoleon has fallen and the Congress of Vienna is being hosted by Emperor Francis.  A meeting of nobles, ambassadors and royalty with all the ensuing pomp and ceremony that such an occasion would herald.  Negotiations for territory are the main order of the day while behind the scenes Vienna is held in the grip of fear, political speech is restricted, secret police maintain strict control over the general populace and dark alchemy is being practiced in the most unexpected places. This really was a good read.  I love this author’s style of writing.  She really can set a scene and make it appear effortless.  I like how she builds her characters and I think she hits the nail spot on in terms of cutting back…

Upcoming Releases: October 30 – November 5, 2016
Upcoming Releases / October 29, 2016

Here’s a rundown of the books we think you should look out for in coming in the week. See any that you are really looking forward to? Find any you had not heard of yet? Know of books we missed? We know we don’t have everything and would love to hear what you feel we may have overlooked.   FANTASY          URBAN FANTASY           SCIENCE FICTION   FANTASY               URBAN FANTASY       SCIENCE FICTION               FANTASY          URBAN FANTASY           SCIENCE FICTION Binary Storm Christopher Hinz 11/1/2016 Angry Robot Christmas Magic Hartwell, David G. 11/1/2016 Tor Books Congress of Secrets Burgis, Stephanie 11/1/2016 Pyr Den of Wolves Marillier, Juliet 11/1/2016 Roc Dominion Peter McLean 11/1/2016 Angry Robot Illicit Clamp, Cathy 11/1/2016 Tor Books Invisible Planets Liu, Ken 11/1/2016 Tor Books Seriously Shifted Connolly, Tina 11/1/2016 Tor Teen Shadowed Souls Butcher, Jim 11/1/2016 Roc The Burning Isle Panzo, Will 11/1/2016 Ace The Burning Light Beaulieu, Bradley P. 11/1/2016 Tor.com The Lost Child of Lychford Cornell, Paul 11/1/2016 Tor.com The Operative Brandt, Gerald 11/1/2016 DAW Unquiet…

Upcoming Releases: April 10 – 16, 2016
Upcoming Releases / April 9, 2016

Here’s a rundown of the books we think you should look out for in coming in the week. See any that you are really looking forward to? Find any you had not heard of yet? Know of books we missed? We know we don’t have everything and would love to hear what you feel we may have overlooked.   FANTASY             A Shadow all of Light Fred Chappell 4/12/2016 Tor Masks and Shadwos Stephanie Burgis 4/12/2016 Pyr Bloodmage Stephen Aryan 4/12/2016 Orbit Illidan: World of Warcraft William King 4/12/2016 Del Rey

Interview and Giveaway with Stephanie Burgis, Author of Masks and Shadows
Guest Post , Interview / April 8, 2016

Today we are excited to share an interview with Stephanie Burgis, author of Masks and Shadows which releases April 12, 2016. If you missed it, be sure to check out our review. Also, don’t miss the GIVEAWAY at the bottom of this post!   Hi Stephanie, I found your book Masks and Shadows to be a very enjoyable and fun read! Thank you for joining us today to answer a few questions.   Could you tell us a bit about Masks and Shadows in your own words? Sure! Masks and Shadows is a romantic historical fantasy novel brimming with alchemy, opera, and forbidden romance. It’s set in the isolated palace of Eszterháza, where dangerous schemes are brewing behind the golden walls, and the drama on the stage of the court opera house may soon be supplanted by a much more deadly drama in the audience.   Music plays a wonderful role in your book. I noticed that you have worked for a British opera company and also studied music history. Do you have any fun or interesting stories or facts you can share with us that relate to either of those?   I first fell in love with opera when I was…

Review: Masks and Shadows by Stephanie Burgis
Reviews / March 28, 2016

Masks and Shadows is a delight of a book full of mystery, music, court politics and romance. Oh, and lets not forget the nefarious shadows and disturbing deaths. This was a quick and wonderful read for me, I read it in about a day and really enjoyed just immersing myself if the world and characters Burgis created. While we get several different POVs in this, I really felt Charlotte was the central character. A young widow, she has decided to visit her younger sister at Eszterháza Palace. This is a wonderful place, or appears to be at a surface glance, where Prince Niko has built his own opera house complete with one of the most renowned conductors of the time. The music and opera were a wonderful feature of this story, giving rich details and wonderful characters and interplay. Maybe I am just a sucker for stories that feature theaters and performers, but regardless, this was very well done. We quickly learn that Charlotte is a person who is always scrambling to please others and abide by the rules. If anyone has expectations of her, she does whatever she can to not let them down, even when their expectations may not match…